29 October 2017
Finally, the Court has fixed the date for the 9th and final day of my court hearing. Some people have expressed interest to attend the hearing. Here are the details:
Case No: S 667/2012
Venue of Hearing: COURT 5C, SUPREME COURT
The last two NUS professors to take the witness stand are Assoc Prof Wong Yunn Chii and Prof Jeffrey Pinsler SC.
(1) My former MA (Master of Arts) thesis supervisor Dr Wong Yunn Chii
– I made a complaint against Dr Wong in 2005. After NUS convened a COI (Committee of Inquiry) to look into my complaint against Dr Wong, and the COI recommended that he be censured in 2005, NUS went on to promote Dr Wong to Head of the Department of Architecture in 2007. In fact, while the investigation of the COI was going on in June/July 2005, Dr Wong was given tenure and promoted to Associate Professor on 1 July 2005. Dr Wong stepped down as Head of Department in early 2017, and is a faculty member of the Department today.
In 2004, Dr Wong used my MA Thesis to generate a project and successfully received funding for the project around early 2005. NUS awarded Dr Wong a research grant of $80,820 from the MOE (Ministry of Education). Dr Wong refused to show me his grant application when I asked him to do so, after he insisted verbally that he had acknowledged me in the grant application.
I was finally able to read the project grant application in 2013 after I commenced legal action against NUS. Dr Wong had lied to me in 2005. Dr Wong did not mention my name in the grant application (although it is quite detailed and has many pages and it acknowledges other people by name). Nor did Dr Wong state that my MA thesis research was the "basis" and "content" of the project in the grant application or something to that effect. This contradicted what he wrote to me on 5 August 2004 when he was trying to get me to give him my up-to-date thesis writing.
My complaint about Dr Wong’s use of my MA Thesis for his project without due acknowledgement eventually led NUS to terminate my MA candidature and deny me my Masters Degree in 2006. I had already fulfilled all my Masters Degree academic requirements by that time.
(2) The Chairman of the COI (Committee of Inquiry) Prof Jeffrey Pinsler SC
– Prof Jeffrey Pinsler SC is a law professor and authority in various aspects of the legal processes in Singapore such as civil procedure and evidence in the litigation process. He is also a Senior Counsel of the Supreme Court of Singapore. I had an unusual (indirect) encounter with Prof. Pinsler in the courtroom on the first day of my trial on 1 August 2017.
In 2005, NUS appointed Prof Pinsler to chair the COI (Committee of Inquiry) to look into my complaint against Dr Wong Yunn Chii. The COI asked me to attend an interview by the COI panel, but Prof Pinsler refused to tell me who were the (other) members that made up the COI. Since NUS claimed that there were contradictions in my complaints, I asked Prof Pinsler to tell me what was the exact agenda that NUS had commissioned the COI to investigate before the date of my interview with the COI. Prof Pinsler refused me my very reasonable request.
In view of Prof Pinsler’s refusal to answer my reasonable questions, I felt that the COI was being conducted in a non-transparent manner, and I naturally became concerned that the COI would be nothing more than a whitewash and a sham to cover up Dr Wong’s wrongdoing. I could see that my attendance at the COI hearing would merely lend credence to the sham proceedings, and that, if I attended, NUS might say that my attendance showed that I had accepted the COI’s decisions and the non-transparent way in which the COI was carried out. So, I decided that it was best that I not attend at all.
After the COI completed its investigation without interviewing me, NUS informed me on 3 August 2005 that: “The Committee of Inquiry, of which you are aware, has resolved that there is insufficient evidence to establish that Dr Wong acted unethically.” NUS misled me to believe that the COI had completely exonerated Dr Wong.
NUS refused to show me the COI Report.
I was finally able to read the COI Report in 2013 after I commenced legal action. I only found out in 2013 that the COI actually concluded that Dr Wong should be censured.
NUS terminated my MA degree candidature
NUS eventually termined my MA degree candidature. On 11 August 2006, NUS imposed the requirement on me to provide a written undertaking to state that I accept the university’s decisions regarding my complaint, failing which NUS will not confer me my MA degree. This additional condition for graduation was unconscionable and I refused to comply with NUS' improper demands that I agree to "accept" the university's improper decisions and to stop complaining.
NUS retaliated by terminating my MA candidature on 4 September 2006.
This was a catastrophic blow to me and my academic journey, after I'd spent three years working on researching and writing my MA Thesis.
What's worse, this resulted in the sabotaging of my PhD programme and scholarship in the United States. I had just started out on my PhD programme with a scholarship in August 2006 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I appealed to NUS President in December 2006, but to no avail. I could not complete my admissions records since I was not able to turn in my MA degree certificate. UIC allowed me to withdraw from the PhD programme without having to return the stipend that it had already paid to me.
This was a second blow in my academic journey as a consequence of NUS' wrongful denial of my MA degree.
If not for the abuse of power and retaliation by NUS, I would have graduated with a PhD in around 2011. If that had happened, by now (in 2017) I might be a tenured Associate Professor at a university somewhere.
After NUS denied me my Masters Degree, some of the NUS professors who were involved in handling my complaint against Dr Wong were promoted to higher-ranking positions, and some of them were honoured with national medals.
Court hearing fees
I am still saddled with court hearing fees and transcript fees.
Here's an extract of a letter from Court dated 26 October 2017.
As you can see from the letter I still owe court hearing fees to the Court (I think it is less than $9,000; my lawyers are in the process of clarifying with the Court).
I appeal to your kind support.
My case is more than just about trying to get justice for myself; there are important principles at stake here. My case involves a public body that spends public money derived from the taxes that people pay, and the NUS officers who abused their power in my case are still in positions of power, either in NUS or in other public bodies. The wrongdoers in my case need to be exposed and brought to justice, in order to make it less likely that this kind of thing will happen to anyone else.
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